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Cici's Pizza Files for Bankruptcy Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Say it isn't so! With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, businesses and restaurant chains left and right are being forced to file for bankruptcy due to the significant challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed upon them. Most recently Cici's Pizza, a pizza buffet chain based in Plano, Texas, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after customers shifted their focus towards takeout and food delivery. The company and its franchisees operate 318 locations in 26 states, which is 50% fewer locations the pizza chain had at its peak about a decade ago.

Cici's Pizza Buffet Restaurant Files for Bankruptcy

Some popular pizza offerings include Cici's macaroni and cheese pizza, alfredo pizza, and zesty ham and cheddar pizza. The chain also offers salad bar favorites as well as chicken wings and dessert pizzas.

According to the court filing, Cici's restaurants reached a bankruptcy filing deal with its primary lender, D&G Investors, which had acquired the company's $82 million worth of debt in December. The filing goes on to share that the bottom line of the chain has been struggling for a few years.

"This trend poses significant challenges to Cici's all-you-can-eat buffet model, which depends on in-store dining for approximately 99% of its revenue," Chief Financial Officer Richard Peabody said in a court filing.

The restaurant industry, especially those that thrive on in-person dining, are still struggling. States like California have stopped inside in-person dining which other states like North Carolina have capacity limits on the number of guests allowed to dine at a time. Even though Cici's switched to a digital ordering model, it wasn't enough to keep sales up.

According to Tillster research, in the last 12 months, more than 50% of quick-service restaurant customers have ordered online for delivery. This shift towards delivery causes the restaurant business to change their models fast to keep customers.

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